Antibody drugs could protect people with weak immune systems against Covid


Even as the Covid delta wave ebbs in the U.S., millions of people with compromised immune systems remain trapped in an anxious and sequestered limbo. A considerable portion of this population, research indicates, remains highly vulnerable to the coronavirus even after three or four vaccine shots.

Many immunocompromised Americans, including people with cancer, autoimmune disorders and transplanted organs, are impatiently awaiting what could be their ticket back to some semblance of normalcy: the ability to receive periodic injections of long-acting monoclonal antibodies. This, research suggests, could provide them the substantial protection against Covid-19 that in their cases vaccination may not.

The Food and Drug Administration could soon grant emergency authorization to monoclonal antibodies from drugmaker Regeneron for what is known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, against Covid-19. If cleared by the FDA, Regeneron’s therapy could be given as a set of injections every one to three months before potential exposure to the coronavirus.